The most convenient way to operate under cabinet lights in the kitchen is to hardwire them to a wall switch. You can turn the lights on and off, and even dim them without having messy wires and plugs in your cooking space. However, when it comes to installation, hard-wiring your lights is probably the most involved process. If you’re searching for advice on how to hardwire under cabinet lights, read on for step-by-step instructions.
After you choose your lights, you’ll first need to prepare for installation:
1. Consult with an expert before you start. A professional electrical contractor in your geographical area will be able to advise you regarding any electrical details that you might have questions about, and make certain that you’re satisfying all of the appropriate electrical codes.
2. Plan for the wiring. Where do you want your light switch to be? Close to the cabinets? Alongside the rest of your kitchen lighting controls? Determining this will help you know how much wiring you need. The electrical wiring runs within the wall and loops from one fixture to the next.
3. Position your under cabinet lights. For even lighting, we suggest you use linear lights along the length of your cabinets, or puck lights every 6-10 inches. For the best task lighting along your counters, we also recommend you place the lights close to the front of the cabinet. Finally, make sure your corner cabinet lighting is balanced to cover the area evenly, not causing shadows.
4. Gather the tools and mounting hardware. Most under cabinet fixtures come with a pack of appropriate hardware to use for installation. This includes screws that won’t penetrate the bottom shelves of your cabinets. Cable bushing and wire connectors of the right size are necessary for proper installation. You’ll also need the following tools: